Saturday, 19 December 2015

The Moon Crossing Bridge In Kyoto

Our first day in Kyoto was spent in Arashiyama and after a quick brunch, we took a train to Hankyu Arashiyama station.
First, a leisurely walk and a stop at the famous Togetsukyo Bridge and then we walked along the river to get to another famed spot in Kyoto; the Bamboo Groves.

The Togetsukyo Bridge has a 1,000 years of history behind it.
The Togetsukyo Bridge  (the moon crossing bridge) is a landmark in Arashiyama. The bridge was named by the retired Emperor Kameyama of the Kamakura period (1185 to 1333). The story was that he went boating on the river under a full moon, and remarked that the moon looked like it was crossing the bridge. Or something like that...
The bridge was originally built during the Heian Period (794-1185) and is believed to be built in 836, when the priest Dosho (a disciple of Kobo Dashi, founder of the Shingon Sect of Buddhism) was conducting construction repair work along the Oi River.

The current bridge which was rebuilt in 1934, appears wooden but has columns and beams all made of reinforced concrete.
I have to say, unless we know the history of the bridge, the bridge is just a bridge that happens to have lots of visitors walking across it. Sorry! That's me, the uncouth tourist talking!
And oh yes, plus a number of visitors either in normal wear or clad in traditional kimonos being pulled on a "jinriksha" (pulled rickshaw) across the bridge and soaking in the lovely scenery along the river.
Nearby the Bridge, there's a row of shop selling souvenirs and tea-houses and cafes too. We relaxed on the riverbank and enjoyed the scenery and had a simple picnic, bought at a konbini near the train station.
In 2005, the Arashiyama Preservation Society Hydro-Power station was built along the river. Water from the Katsura River is used to generate electricity for the foot lights illuminating the Bridge as the sun sets.

We missed the night view during our visit in Sep 2015 but maybe we''ll get to see it one day, in future. ^^
We strolled and saw pleasure boats glided by, piloted by skilled rowers. There were visitors on paddle boats and kayaks seen too, as we made our way along the river.
We soak in the green foliage (it was still summer when we were there) and enjoy the cooling breeze.
The persimmon trees that dotted the area were just fruiting.
It wasn't until we reached the Bamboo Groves that we came into groups of other tourists who were also visiting the area.


  1. It looks a charming spot, Lina and one I would hope to visit on our next trip to Japan.

    1. Combining it with the Bamboo Groves in Arashiyama and also a ride on the Romantic Train would be lovely, I think. :)

  2. One of my favourite spots in Kyoto! There is a big Momiji Festival around the Togetsukyo Bridge in November featuring performers dressed in traditional Heian Period costumes, as well as traditional dance, music and art performances such as noh and kyogen.

    1. I saw it in a documentary...

      Wish we can see it but timing is never right.

      Lucky you!

  3. Hi! Nice trip to Togetukyo. I think all of you enjoyed there very much. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Your photos are full of travel life. It feels like breeze of freedom and happieness.

  5. The rivers and bridge photos are beautiful and relaxing. You smart lady and could identify these persimmon trees! I would be blurr as usual.


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